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Jumbo Joe build into a Jumbo Mini ...Introducing the "Jimmy"

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by fwismoker, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

      A month or so ago i picked up a Jumbo Joe on clearance from Target for 19 dollars with the hopes at best for making an efficient smoker out of it or worst i'd have a great grill.  After some searching i settled on a 80 Qt stainless steel pot i found on Ebay.   I contacted the seller asking he or she to take measurements for me, they responded with it's a 17.5" bottom (perfect fit) and a 18.5 top fit (perfect)   They were also going to honor a sale that had just ended....PERFECT, let's order this thing!!!

    Before it came in i knew that i wanted it to have a 3/4" ball valve for my PitmasterIQ or BBQ Guru because i have 3/4" for both of them so i went ahead and did that first.

    For other air vents i considered nipples and caps but i really like the controls like my Smokey Joe Gold so i decided on WSM style vents.

    A little size comparison to the mini WSM here.  This pot is 19" high which is HUGE for a pot....lol     I can't imagine cooking with this thing on a stove!

    I found from the mini that it's best to have the bottom cut out so that you can stack the charcoal basket and not have it interfere with the pot sitting in the base.  I used the Jumbos charcoal grate as template to trace my cut out on the bottom of the pot. 

    Ok it isn't easy cutting stainless steel compared to aluminum!   Tip:  Use a jig saw with good metal blades and dish soap makes a good lubricant for the heat.    

    If you haven't made a charcoal basket for your mini then i highly suggest to do it..and use the charcoal rack. This basket needs to be just at 3 1/2" high as to not interfere with the pot sitting in the base.  I went to Lowes and got some expanded steel and formed this out of two sections appx 3.5 " s high and wire tied them to the rack.   Tip: Rebar wire makes great ties. 

    This makes a nice little fire box so that when you have side air vents the whole basket gets air all around the perimeter. 

    I wanted a two rack system so i decided to put the first rack 1 1/2" s from the top and the second 7" s down from the top.  Tip: Use a big step bit to start the holes (dish soap) as a lubricant and i used a smaller step bit once it got started.   I burnt out a step bit quickly not using lube or the bigger one first so learn from my mistakes...lol   Tip 2:  You need leverage so put the pot on it's side or you'll never get it started...i just put a blanket down and went to drilling.  Use 1/4" bolts or shorter.  Tip 3:  I went to Menards and got 1/4" fiber washers to put on the outside with the acorn nuts.  I got so sick of oil and grease seeping out of my mini's holes... This solved that problem!!!

    The Jumbo has that bottom vent  but i didn't want to use that for my primary air control but wanted to still use it.  I also have a Big Poppa Drum Smoker which has a adjustable basket for searing...when you bring that basket up to sear it burst into flames.  The reason it burst into flames is because after smoking and you bring it up and air comes at it from the sides and from the bottom. I wanted to try to duplicate that for this build so i put a handle on the vent ...calling it the sear handle.   I only want to really use this to warm up the smoker and open it to sear. 

    I used a 6" carriage bolt, a cut piece of dowel rod which i counter sank and some lock washers and bolts...all 1/4"

    Therm i went with a River Country because i wanted something accurate and didn't want to depend on my Maverick all the time.  It got installed right below my 2nd grate at about 7.5 to 8"s down from the top.

    I like my Q drippings to reach the coals so i decided to put a diffuser pan that i use in my drum in the Jimmy.   I used longer bolts but you can use shorter ones if you want your diffuser to sit on a grate..  or if you want a water pan (no thanks for me anyway)

    Ok the seller that took the measurements for me was off by about 1/4" on the dimensions of the top of the pot. The pot was a tad smaller at the top than they said by 1/4" which means the lid is a little looser than i would like.  The bottom is the most important so i figured i could work with the lid.  Not sure if i needed it or not i went ahead and picked up some 3/8" stove gasket and with some RTV high heat sealant put the gasket in the lids lip.

    It seats really good imo, This is a pre burn before i had the build really started. 

    Here's a family portrait of my 14.5" , 18.5" and 22.5" smokers.  It's nice to have versatility!         

    Ok this is what i have learned so far about this smoker.

    1) It's SOLID and easy to clean!  A little stainless polish and it's good to go

    2) It holds temp like a champion, even better than the mini.  The stainless was still hot after shutting down when the base was cool!

    3) This is going to be waaaay hotter than normal for the first smokes...it's the shiny stainless.  I've only had three short smokes so far and as it gets build up it's getting better.

    4) The sear setting really fires things up!!  Introducing air from the bottom does work well. 

    I highly recommend this smoker...man is it nice!    Stainless is the way to go and i have about 185 into it which is way less than a WSM....but i just like making my own anyways.    Thanks for looking
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
    remmy700p likes this.
  2. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Pics fixed.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  3. flyweed

    flyweed Smoking Fanatic

    Looks great. I love it!  I am just gathering all the parts to build my first MINI out of a smokey joe Gold. Can't wait to get her smokin.  It's going to be STRICTLY a low and slow  unit, as I have a GMG Daniel Boone pellet pooper and a BGE for my "hot" cooks and steak seering.
  4. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Thanks fly but i'll tell you ...your mini will be an all purpose whether you like it or not. lol   On my mini i can cook under 200 or over 400* and you're going to love being able to smoke and then sear.   Also for high heat the mini is the best chicken cooker i've ever used, spatch chix @ 350....INCREDIBLE birds.   I just use my steamer pan that came with it and the juices really flavor the birds.  Keith
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  5. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Man , you got all the bases covered! Nice job. :grilling_smilie:
  6. Did you get the cool glow in the dark thermometer?
  7. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    LOL, exactly ...that was the goal. 
    No only for the mini but i really do like those glow in the dark..especially this time of year.    I"ll probably replace it with one
  8. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Nicely done!

    Great Build-View as well.

  9. Hello Keith.  Another great smoker build and a fine tutorial.  Good job all round.  Keep Smokin!

  10. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice build and I am looking to do the same. If the eBay seller has more of those pots would you mind PMing me the seller's eBay user name? Thanks in advance!
  11. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Hey Danny!   Long time no see.. ))    I took a step back from this place for a while... looks like it might be under better management per se now?
    Thanks Bill...hope all is well with you.   Keith
  12. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Got tired of laying the lid on the ground so i picked up a little 2 dollar flat bar, bent it and used the nut and bolt on the Weber lid to attach it too. 

  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Looks great Keith. Somehow I missed this, must have been busy hunting and getting married and stuff!
  14. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Excuses excuses... I suppose i'll let ya slide on this one Case.   I must have missed this hunting trip you speak of. [​IMG]
  15. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

  16. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great looking build!

    I was looking at the smoking joe online. Was wondering what size pot to start with. After seeing a couple minis over the weekend at the south fl gathering I decided to make one. A lot easier to move around then the chargriller......

    And yes that size pot is a PITA to use, even in a comercial kitchen.......
  17. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    Thanks jar.. make sure to do a build thread on your mini as no two are alike.    The portability of these things is a bonus for sure.
  18. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I did find while doing a little research on the Jumbo Joe a few cool add ons. Can't link due to not a sponsor, but if you search online you should be able to find them easy. There is a pizza oven attachment, a bit pricey in my book at $189, but a very cool concept. Also it would apear the the diameter of the Joe is the same as one of the Green Eggs and there is a cast iron grate available for it for about $69. If the family buys into the weekend camping deal more, down the road these may need to become mine, but first need to build the smoker. I am going to Target today, so will look for a cleance section, might be too late in the next season for that deal you found.

    On your build I saw you added the ball valve. If I understand correctly, you use the bottom stock vent for startup and then close and use the ball valve for the adjustment for smoking?

    I really like what you did and will out right copy some of it! Might make a few changes only due to using what I have on hand around the property.
  19. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

     I have 2 Weber style vents and the 3/4 ball valve on the side so it really depends on when i'm going to use that bottom valve...originally i only was going to open it up when i used it as a grill to sear with.  It does help to open when you're trying to heat it up quicker but i find a couple times when it was really cold out (like below freezing) and i was doing a high heat chicken that i will open it to dial it into 350*.  

    For normal smokes i'll never use it because i just don't need the air ...on a nice day i can use 1 vent and cook hot.  Being down in Florida i'm thinking you don't ever need more than 2 side vents..and that would be for high heat chicken/turkey etc..
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  20. Great build, I got my 80 qt Stainless pot delivered today.  I wonder if this pot would fit on a weber performer?